Philippines shrugs off US withdrawal from TPP
January 25, 2017
The Philippine government shrugged off on Tuesday the decision of United States President Donald Trump for America to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a text message to Manila Shimbun that the Philippines understands the decision made by Trump to review existing trade agreements rather than start new ones.
"We have not been part anyway of the first round of TPP so in a way that's good for us," he said.
Lopez said the focus of the Duterte administration is to "strengthen" on the existing trade arrangements like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and other bilaterals like Japan, ratification of European Free Trade Association and ongoing discussions with the European Union.
"We also have GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) with US and GSP+ with EU," he added.
Following his assumption to office, Trump junked the ambitious, 12-nation TPP initiated by his predecessor Barack Obama, in line with his "America First" policy. Celerina Monte/DMS
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